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1.  Developing clinical rules to predict urinary tract infection in primary care settings: sensitivity and specificity of near patient tests (dipsticks) and clinical scores 
Suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common presentations in primary care. Systematic reviews have not documented any adequately powered studies in primary care that assess independent predictors of laboratory diagnosis.
To estimate independent clinical and dipstick predictors of infection and to develop clinical decision rules.
Design of study
Validation study of clinical and dipstick findings compared with laboratory testing.
General practices in the south of England.
Laboratory diagnosis of 427 women with suspected UTI was assessed using European urinalysis guidelines. Independent clinical and dipstick predictors of diagnosis were estimated.
UTI was confirmed in 62.5% of women with suspected UTI. Only nitrite, leucocyte esterase (+ or greater), and blood (haemolysed trace or greater) independently predicted diagnosis (adjusted odds ratios 6.36, 4.52, 2.23 respectively). A dipstick decision rule, based on having nitrite, or both leucocytes and blood, was moderately sensitive (77%) and specific (70%); positive predictive value (PPV) was 81% and negative predictive value (NPV) was 65%. Predictive values were improved by varying the cut-off point: NPV was 73% for all three dipstick results being negative, and PPV was 92% for having nitrite and either blood or leucocyte esterase. A clinical decision rule, based on having two of the following: urine cloudiness, offensive smell, and dysuria and/or nocturia of moderate severity, was less sensitive (65%) (specificity 69%; PPV 77%, NPV 54%). NPV was 71% for none of the four clinical features, and the PPV was 84% for three or more features.
Simple decision rules could improve targeting of investigation and treatment. Strategies to use such rules need to take into account limited negative predictive value, which is lower than expected from previous research.
PMCID: PMC1874525  PMID: 16882379
clinical scoring algorithms; diagnosis, urinary tract infection; dipsticks
2.  Diagnostic approach to urinary tract infections in male general practice patients: a national surveillance study 
The British Journal of General Practice  2012;62(604):e780-e786.
Diagnostic urinary tract infection (UTI) studies have primarily been performed among female patients.
To create a diagnostic algorithm for male general practice patients suspected of UTI.
Design and setting
Surveillance study in the Dutch Sentinel General Practice Network.
Clinical information and dipstick results were collected from 603 patients. Algorithm-predicted care was compared with care as usual in terms of sensitivity (antibiotic recommended when UTI was confirmed) and specificity (no antibiotic recommended when no UTI was observed).
Complete information was available from 490/603 (81%) males, of whom 66% (321/490) had a UTI. A diagnostic algorithm recommending antimicrobial prescription in the case of a positive nitrite test or a positive leukocyte esterase test in males aged ≥60 years, had a positive predictive value (PPV) of 83% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 78 to 87) and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 60% (95% CI = 52 to 66), respectively (area under the ROC curve: 0.78, 95% CI = 0.74 to 0.82). When both dipstick results were positive in males aged ≥60 years, PPV increased to 90% (95% CI = 83 to 94), whereas NPV was highest in males <60 years with negative dipstick results (71%, 95% CI = 59 to 81). Sensitivity and specificity of predicted UTI care and usual care did not differ (75% versus 79%, P = 0.30, and 70% versus 63%, P = 0.17, respectively).
UTI care provided to Dutch male GP patients is as accurate as predicted care from a diagnostic algorithm. The studied clinical information and dipstick tests are useful for ruling in UTI in males, but have limited value in ruling out this diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3481519  PMID: 23211182
general practice; male; patients; urinary tract infections
3.  The urine dipstick test useful to rule out infections. A meta-analysis of the accuracy 
BMC Urology  2004;4:4.
Many studies have evaluated the accuracy of dipstick tests as rapid detectors of bacteriuria and urinary tract infections (UTI). The lack of an adequate explanation for the heterogeneity of the dipstick accuracy stimulates an ongoing debate. The objective of the present meta-analysis was to summarise the available evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of the urine dipstick test, taking into account various pre-defined potential sources of heterogeneity.
Literature from 1990 through 1999 was searched in Medline and Embase, and by reference tracking. Selected publications should be concerned with the diagnosis of bacteriuria or urinary tract infections, investigate the use of dipstick tests for nitrites and/or leukocyte esterase, and present empirical data. A checklist was used to assess methodological quality.
70 publications were included. Accuracy of nitrites was high in pregnant women (Diagnostic Odds Ratio = 165) and elderly people (DOR = 108). Positive predictive values were ≥80% in elderly and in family medicine. Accuracy of leukocyte-esterase was high in studies in urology patients (DOR = 276). Sensitivities were highest in family medicine (86%). Negative predictive values were high in both tests in all patient groups and settings, except for in family medicine. The combination of both test results showed an important increase in sensitivity. Accuracy was high in studies in urology patients (DOR = 52), in children (DOR = 46), and if clinical information was present (DOR = 28). Sensitivity was highest in studies carried out in family medicine (90%). Predictive values of combinations of positive test results were low in all other situations.
Overall, this review demonstrates that the urine dipstick test alone seems to be useful in all populations to exclude the presence of infection if the results of both nitrites and leukocyte-esterase are negative. Sensitivities of the combination of both tests vary between 68 and 88% in different patient groups, but positive test results have to be confirmed. Although the combination of positive test results is very sensitive in family practice, the usefulness of the dipstick test alone to rule in infection remains doubtful, even with high pre-test probabilities.
PMCID: PMC434513  PMID: 15175113
4.  Cost effectiveness of management strategies for urinary tract infections: results from randomised controlled trial 
Objective To assess the cost effectiveness of different management strategies for urinary tract infections.
Design Cost effectiveness analysis alongside a randomised controlled trial with a one month follow-up.
Setting Primary care.
Participants 309 non-pregnant adult women aged 18-70 presenting with suspected urinary tract infection.
Interventions Patients were randomised to five basic management approaches: empirical antibiotics, empirical delayed (by 48 hours) antibiotics, or targeted antibiotics based on either a high symptom score (two or more of urine cloudiness, smell, nocturia, dysuria), dipstick results (nitrite or leucocytes and blood), or receipt of a positive result on midstream urine analysis.
Main outcome measure Duration of symptoms and cost of care.
Results Management with targeted antibiotics with midstream urine analysis was more costly over the period of one month. Costs for the midstream urine analysis and dipstick management groups were £37 and £35, respectively; these compared with £31 for immediate antibiotics. Cost effectiveness acceptability curves suggested that if avoiding a day of moderately bad symptoms was valued at less than £10, then immediate antibiotics is likely to be the most cost effective strategy. For values over £10, targeted antibiotics with dipstick testing becomes the most cost effective strategy, though because of the uncertainty we can never be more than 70% certain that this strategy truly is the most cost effective.
Conclusion Dipstick testing with targeted antibiotics is likely to be cost effective if the value of saving a day of moderately bad symptoms is £10 or more, but caution is required given the considerable uncertainty surrounding the estimates.
PMCID: PMC2817048  PMID: 20139218
5.  Effectiveness of five different approaches in management of urinary tract infection: randomised controlled trial 
Objective To assess the impact of different management strategies in urinary tract infections.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting Primary care.
Participants 309 non-pregnant women aged 18-70 presenting with suspected urinary tract infection.
Intervention Patients were randomised to five management approaches: empirical antibiotics; empirical delayed (by 48 hours) antibiotics; or targeted antibiotics based on a symptom score (two or more of urine cloudiness, urine smell, nocturia, or dysuria), a dipstick result (nitrite or both leucocytes and blood), or a positive result on midstream urine analysis. Self help advice was controlled in each group.
Main outcome measures Symptom severity (days 2 to 4) and duration, and use of antibiotics.
Results Patients had 3.5 days of moderately bad symptoms if they took antibiotics immediately. There were no significant differences in duration or severity of symptoms (mean frequency of symptoms on a 0 to 6 scale: immediate antibiotics 2.15, midstream urine 2.08, dipstick 1.74, symptom score 1.77, delayed antibiotics 2.11; likelihood ratio test for the five groups P=0.177). There were differences in antibiotic use (immediate antibiotics 97%, midstream urine 81%, dipstick 80%, symptom score 90%, delayed antibiotics 77%; P=0.011) and in sending midstream urine samples (immediate antibiotics 23%, midstream urine 89%, dipstick 36%, symptom score 33%, delayed antibiotics 15%; P<0.001). Patients who waited at least 48 hours to start taking antibiotics reconsulted less (hazard ratio 0.57 (95% confidence interval 0.36 to 0.89), P=0.014) but on average had symptoms for 37% longer than those taking immediate antibiotics (incident rate ratio 1.37 (1.11 to 1.68), P=0.003), particularly the midstream urine group (73% longer, 22% to 140%; none of the other groups had more than 22% longer duration).
Conclusion All management strategies achieve similar symptom control. There is no advantage in routinely sending midstream urine samples for testing, and antibiotics targeted with dipstick tests with a delayed prescription as backup, or empirical delayed prescription, can help to reduce antibiotic use.
Study registration National Research Register N0484094184 ISRCTN: 03525333.
PMCID: PMC2817051  PMID: 20139214
6.  Predicting acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection in women: a systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs 
BMC Family Practice  2010;11:78.
Acute urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the most common bacterial infections among women presenting to primary care. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding the optimal reference standard threshold for diagnosing UTI. The objective of this systematic review is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs in women presenting with suspected UTI, across three different reference standards (102 or 103 or 105 CFU/ml). We also examine the diagnostic value of individual symptoms and signs combined with dipstick test results in terms of clinical decision making.
Searches were performed through PubMed (1966 to April 2010), EMBASE (1973 to April 2010), Cochrane library (1973 to April 2010), Google scholar and reference checking.
Studies that assessed the diagnostic accuracy of symptoms and signs of an uncomplicated UTI using a urine culture from a clean-catch or catherised urine specimen as the reference standard, with a reference standard of at least ≥ 102 CFU/ml were included. Synthesised data from a high quality systematic review were used regarding dipstick results. Studies were combined using a bivariate random effects model.
Sixteen studies incorporating 3,711 patients are included. The weighted prior probability of UTI varies across diagnostic threshold, 65.1% at ≥ 102 CFU/ml; 55.4% at ≥ 103 CFU/ml and 44.8% at ≥ 102 CFU/ml ≥ 105 CFU/ml. Six symptoms are identified as useful diagnostic symptoms when a threshold of ≥ 102 CFU/ml is the reference standard. Presence of dysuria (+LR 1.30 95% CI 1.20-1.41), frequency (+LR 1.10 95% CI 1.04-1.16), hematuria (+LR 1.72 95%CI 1.30-2.27), nocturia (+LR 1.30 95% CI 1.08-1.56) and urgency (+LR 1.22 95% CI 1.11-1.34) all increase the probability of UTI. The presence of vaginal discharge (+LR 0.65 95% CI 0.51-0.83) decreases the probability of UTI. Presence of hematuria has the highest diagnostic utility, raising the post-test probability of UTI to 75.8% at ≥ 102 CFU/ml and 67.4% at ≥ 103 CFU/ml. Probability of UTI increases to 93.3% and 90.1% at ≥ 102 CFU/ml and ≥ 103 CFU/ml respectively when presence of hematuria is combined with a positive dipstick result for nitrites. Subgroup analysis shows improved diagnostic accuracy using lower reference standards ≥ 102 CFU/ml and ≥ 103 CFU/ml.
Individual symptoms and signs have a modest ability to raise the pretest-risk of UTI. Diagnostic accuracy improves considerably when combined with dipstick tests particularly tests for nitrites.
PMCID: PMC2987910  PMID: 20969801
7.  Diagnostic accuracy of rapid urine dipstick test to predict urinary tract infection among pregnant women in Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital, Bahir Dar, North West Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:481.
Untreated bacteriuria during pregnancy has been shown to be associated with low birth-weight and premature delivery. Therefore, routine screening for bacteriuria is advocated. The decision about how to screen pregnant women for bacteriuria has always been a balance between the cost of screening versus the sensitivity and specificity. This study was designed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the rapid dipstick test to predict urinary tract infection in pregnancy against the gold standard urine culture.
A total of 367 mid stream urine samples were collected, inoculated on MacConkey, Manitol salt agar (MSA) and blood agar and incubated aerobically at 37°C for overnight. Specimens were classified as “positive” for urinary tract infection (UTI) if the growth of the pathogen(s) was at a count ≥ 105 colony-forming units per milliliter (cfu/mL) of urine and classified as “negative” with growth of <105 cfu/mL. Urine samples were tested for the presence of nitrite and leukocyte esterase using dipstick rapid test in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions.
From the total study participants, 37 pregnant women were symptomatic and the remaining 330 pregnant women were asymptomatic. The sensitivity and specificity of dipstick tests of leukocyte esterase was 50% and 89.1% for pregnant women with asymptomatic UTI(ABU) and 71.4% and 86.7% for symptomatic UTI respectively and for nitrite 35.7% and 98.0% for ABU and 57.1% and 96.7% symptomatic UTI.
This study revealed that the use of dipstick leukocyte esterase and nitrite for screening UTI particularly asymptomatic bacteriuria was associated with many false positive and negative results when it was compared against the gold standard culture method. The low sensitivity and positive predictive value of urine dipstick test proved that culture should be used for the diagnosis of UTI.
PMCID: PMC4118157  PMID: 25073620
Dipstick test; Pregnant women; UTI; Asymptomatic bacteriuria
8.  The diagnosis of urinary tract infections in young children (DUTY): protocol for a diagnostic and prospective observational study to derive and validate a clinical algorithm for the diagnosis of UTI in children presenting to primary care with an acute illness 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:158.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is common in children, and may cause serious illness and recurrent symptoms. However, obtaining a urine sample from young children in primary care is challenging and not feasible for large numbers. Evidence regarding the predictive value of symptoms, signs and urinalysis for UTI in young children is urgently needed to help primary care clinicians better identify children who should be investigated for UTI. This paper describes the protocol for the Diagnosis of Urinary Tract infection in Young children (DUTY) study. The overall study aim is to derive and validate a cost-effective clinical algorithm for the diagnosis of UTI in children presenting to primary care acutely unwell.
DUTY is a multicentre, diagnostic and prospective observational study aiming to recruit at least 7,000 children aged before their fifth birthday, being assessed in primary care for any acute, non-traumatic, illness of ≤ 28 days duration. Urine samples will be obtained from eligible consented children, and data collected on medical history and presenting symptoms and signs. Urine samples will be dipstick tested in general practice and sent for microbiological analysis. All children with culture positive urines and a random sample of children with urine culture results in other, non-positive categories will be followed up to record symptom duration and healthcare resource use. A diagnostic algorithm will be constructed and validated and an economic evaluation conducted.
The primary outcome will be a validated diagnostic algorithm using a reference standard of a pure/predominant growth of at least >103, but usually >105 CFU/mL of one, but no more than two uropathogens.
We will use logistic regression to identify the clinical predictors (i.e. demographic, medical history, presenting signs and symptoms and urine dipstick analysis results) most strongly associated with a positive urine culture result. We will then use economic evaluation to compare the cost effectiveness of the candidate prediction rules.
This study will provide novel, clinically important information on the diagnostic features of childhood UTI and the cost effectiveness of a validated prediction rule, to help primary care clinicians improve the efficiency of their diagnostic strategy for UTI in young children.
PMCID: PMC3575241  PMID: 22812651
Urinary Tract Infection; Children; Primary care; Point-of-care-test; Dipstick test; Near-patient testing; Diagnosis; Economic models
9.  Urinary Tract Infections in Older Women 
JAMA  2014;311(8):844-854.
Asymptomatic bacteriuria and symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTIs) in older women are commonly encountered in outpatient practice.
To review management of asymptomatic bacteriuria and symptomatic UTI and review prevention of recurrent UTIs in older community-dwelling women.
A search of Ovid (Medline, PsycINFO, Embase) for English-language human studies conducted among adults aged 65 years and older and published in peer-reviewed journals from 1946 to November 20, 2013.
The clinical spectrum of UTIs ranges from asymptomatic bacteriuria, to symptomatic and recurrent UTIs, to sepsis associated with UTI requiring hospitalization. Recent evidence helps differentiate asymptomatic bacteriuria from symptomatic UTI. Asymptomatic bacteriuria is transient in older women, often resolves without any treatment, and is not associated with morbidity or mortality. The diagnosis of symptomatic UTI is made when a patient has both clinical features and laboratory evidence of a urinary infection. Absent other causes, patients presenting with any 2 of the following meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for symptomatic UTI: fever, worsened urinary urgency or frequency, acute dysuria, suprapubic tenderness, or costovertebral angle pain or tenderness. A positive urine culture (≥105 CFU/mL) with no more than 2 uropathogens and pyuria confirms the diagnosis of UTI. Risk factors for recurrent symptomatic UTI include diabetes, functional disability, recent sexual intercourse, prior history of urogynecologic surgery, urinary retention, and urinary incontinence. Testing for UTI is easily performed in the clinic using dipstick tests. When there is a low pretest probability of UTI, a negative dipstick result for leukocyte esterase and nitrites excludes infection. Antibiotics are selected by identifying the uropathogen, knowing local resistance rates, and considering adverse effect profiles. Chronic suppressive antibiotics for 6 to 12 months and vaginal estrogen therapy effectively reduce symptomatic UTI episodes and should be considered in patients with recurrent UTIs.
Establishing a diagnosis of symptomatic UTI in older women requires careful clinical evaluation with possible laboratory assessment using urinalysis and urine culture. Asymptomatic bacteriuria should be differentiated from symptomatic UTI. Asymptomatic bacteriuria in older women should not be treated.
PMCID: PMC4194886  PMID: 24570248
10.  Does clinical examination aid in the diagnosis of urinary tract infections in women? A systematic review and meta-analysis 
BMC Family Practice  2011;12:111.
Clinicians should be aware of the diagnostic values of various symptoms, signs and antecedents. This information is particularly important in primary care settings, where sophisticated diagnostic approaches are not always feasible. The aim of the study is to determine the probability that various symptoms, signs, antecedents and tests predict urinary tract infection (UTI) in women.
We conducted a systematic search of the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to identify articles published in all languages through until December 2008. We particularly focused on studies that examined the diagnostic accuracy of at least one symptom, sign or patient antecedent related to the urinary tract. We included studies where urine culture, a gold standard, was preformed by primary care providers on female subjects aged at least 14 years. A meta-analysis of the likelihood ratio was performed to assess variables related to the urinary tract symptoms.
Of the 1, 212 articles identified, 11 met the selection criteria. Dysuria, urgency, nocturia, sexual activity and urgency with dysuria were weak predictors of urinary tract infection, whereas increases in vaginal discharge and suprapubic pain were weak predictors of the absence of infection. Nitrites or leukocytes in the dipstick test are the only findings that clearly favored a diagnosis of UTI.
Clinical findings do not aid in the diagnosis of UTI among women who present with urinary symptoms. Vaginal discharge is a weak indicator of the absence of infection. The urine dipstick test was the most reliable tool for detecting UTI.
PMCID: PMC3207883  PMID: 21985418
11.  Response to antibiotics of women with symptoms of urinary tract infection but negative dipstick urine test results: double blind randomised controlled trial 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7509):143.
Objective To assess the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment of women with symptoms of urinary tract infection but negative urine dipstick testing.
Design Prospective, double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial.
Setting Primary care, among a randomly selected group of general practitioners in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Participants 59 women aged 16-50 years presenting with a history of dysuria and frequency in whom a dipstick test of midstream urine was negative for both nitrites and leucocytes. Participants with complicated urinary tract infection were excluded.
Intervention Trimethoprim 300 mg daily for three days or placebo.
Main outcome measures Self reported diary of symptoms for seven days, recording the presence or absence of individual symptoms each day, followed by a structured telephone questionnaire after seven days. The main clinical outcome was resolution of dysuria at three and seven days and median time to resolution. Secondary outcomes were resolution of other symptoms.
Results The median time for resolution of dysuria was three days for trimethoprim compared with five days for placebo (P = 0.002). At day 3, five (24%) of patients in the treatment group had ongoing dysuria compared with 20 (74%) in the placebo group (P = 0.005). This difference persisted until day 7: two patients (10%) in the treatment group v 11 (41%) in the placebo group; P = 0.02). The number needed to treat was 4. The median duration of constitutional symptoms (feverishness, shivers) was reduced by four days.
Conclusions Although a negative dipstick test for leucocytes and nitrites accurately predicted absence of infection when standard microbiological definitions were used (negative predictive value 92%), it did not predict response to antibiotic treatment. Three days' treatment with trimethoprim significantly reduced dysuria in women whose urine dipstick test was negative. These results support the practice of empirical antibiotic use guided by symptoms. Balancing the competing interests of symptom relief and the minimisation of antibiotic use remains a dilemma—further research is needed to determine clinical predictors of response to antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC558702  PMID: 15972728
12.  Can urine dipstick testing for urinary tract infection at point of care reduce laboratory workload? 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2005;58(9):951-954.
Aim: The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust microbiology laboratory receives 150 000 urine samples each year, approximately 80% of which prove to be culture negative. The aim of this study was to reduce the proportion of culture negative urines arriving in the laboratory, by producing local evidence based guidelines for the use of urine dipstick testing at point of care within the trust’s three acute hospitals.
Methods: One thousand and seventy six unborated urine samples were dipstick tested at the point of care using an automatic strip reader. Quantitative results for the four infection associated markers—leucocyte esterase, nitrite, blood, and protein—were compared with the results of conventional laboratory microscopy and culture.
Results: The performance of different marker combinations was calculated against the routine laboratory methods. One hundred and seventy five (16.3%) samples were negative for all four markers. Of these dipstick negative samples, only three (1.7% of all true positives) were positive by culture. The absence of all four infection associated markers was found to have a greater than 98% negative predictive value and a sensitivity and specificity of 98.3% and 19.2%, respectively.
Conclusions: A urinary dipstick testing algorithm for infection associated markers was derived for use in hospital patients to screen out negative urines. Two years after distributing the algorithm and promoting access to reagent strips and strip readers, a reduction in the urine workload has been seen against an otherwise increasing laboratory specimen load.
PMCID: PMC1770822  PMID: 16126876
algorithm; infection associated markers; urinary tract infection; urine dipstick testing; workload
13.  Can the Griess Nitrite Test and a Urinary Pus Cell Count of ≥5 Cells Per Micro Litre of Urine in Pregnant Women be Used for the Screening or the Early Detection of Urinary Tract Infections in Rural India? 
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a common problem in pregnancy due to the morphological and the physiological changes that take place in the genitourinary tract during pregnancy. Screening methods may be useful, because a full bacteriological analysis could be reserved for those patients who are symptomatic or those who have positive screening test results. The exact prevalence of UTI in rural, pregnant women is unknown. The present study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of UTI in pregnant women and for ascertaining the utility of the Griess Nitrite test and the Urinary Pus Cell Count of ≥5 cells per micro litre test for the screening or the early detection of UTI in them at primary health care clinics. Occurrence of urinary complaints was compared in UTI and non UTI women.
We conducted a study on 300 randomly selected, pregnant women from rural areas. Urine cultures, pus-cell counts and the Griess nitrite test were used for diagnosis of UTI. The screening tests for UTI were evaluated in terms of their sensitivity, specificity, Positive Predictive Value (PPV), Negative Predictive Value (NPV) and the percentage of correctly classified.
In the present study, the prevalence of UTI was found to be 29/300 (9.6%, 95% confidence interval 9.57-9.63). The specificities of the two screening tests were comparable (97.05% and 94.47%). Also, the negative predictive values of the two tests were almost similar (97.77% and 96.96%). The percentage of correctly classified by the Griess nitrite test and the urine pus cell count were found to be 95.33% and 92.33% respectively. The proportion of the women with various urinary complaints was significantly higher (P<0.00) in the UTI subjects as compared to that in the non-UTI subjects.
Urine culture remains the gold standard for the detection of asymptomatic bacteriuria. The Nitrite test of uncentrifuged urine was observed to be the best among the screening tests which were evaluated in terms of their efficiency and validity.
PMCID: PMC3527784  PMID: 23285444
UTI; Pregnancy; Rural; Urine Culture; Griess Nitrite test; Screening tests; Urinary Pus cell Test
14.  Evaluation of dipstick analysis among elderly residents to detect bacteriuria: a cross-sectional study in 32 nursing homes 
BMC Geriatrics  2009;9:32.
Few studies have evaluated dipstick urinalysis for elderly and practically none present confidence intervals. Furthermore, most previous studies combine all bacteria species in a "positive culture". Thus, their evaluation may be inappropriate due to Yule-Simpson's paradox. The aim of this study was to evaluate diagnostic accuracy of dipstick urinalysis for the elderly in nursing homes.
In this cross-sectional study voided urine specimens were collected from 651 elderly individuals in nursing homes. Dipstick urinalysis for nitrite, leukocyte esterase and urine culture were performed. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Visual readings were compared to readings with a urine chemistry analyzer.
207/651 (32%) of urine cultures showed growth of a potentially pathogenic bacterium. Combining the two dipsticks improved test characteristics slightly compared to using only one of the dipsticks. When both dipsticks are negative, presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria can be ruled out with a negative predictive value of 88 (84–92)%. Visual and analyzer readings had acceptable agreement.
When investigating for bacteriuria in elderly people at nursing homes we suggest nitrite and leukocyte esterase dipstick be combined. There are no clinically relevant differences between visual and analyzer dipstick readings. When dipstick urinalysis for nitrite and leukocyte esterase are both negative it is unlikely that the urine culture will show growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria and in a patient with an uncomplicated illness further testing is unnecessary.
PMCID: PMC2724370  PMID: 19635163
15.  Evaluation of a screening test for detecting urinary tract infection in newborns and infants. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1991;44(12):1029-1030.
The results of a study of a screening test for urinary tract infection (UTI) in infants under 18 months is reported. Two hundred and forty three urine specimens were tested in the laboratory using AMES Multistix 8SG reagent strips read by photometer. The strips included three potential markers for urinary tract infection: leucocyte esterase, nitrite, and protein. The predictive value of a positive result (PPV) was low. The predictive value of negative test (NPV) when combining the screen of leucocyte esterase, nitrite, and protein was 99.4% with no difference between boys and girls. The test for leucocyte esterase had a 97.6% negative predictive value. An examination of the results by age confirms the good NPV in all age groups. Paediatricians should find Multistix 8SG strips a useful aid in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection in infants, and that costly culture of samples with negative strip tests can be avoided.
PMCID: PMC494975  PMID: 1791205
16.  Diagnostic accuracy of UriSed automated urine microscopic sediment analyzer and dipstick parameters in predicting urine culture test results 
Biochemia Medica  2013;23(2):211-217.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common types of infection. Currently, diagnosis is primarily based on microbiologic culture, which is time- and labor-consuming. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of urinalysis results from UriSed (77 Electronica, Budapest, Hungary), an automated microscopic image-based sediment analyzer, in predicting positive urine cultures.
Materials and methods:
We examined a total of 384 urine specimens from hospitalized patients and outpatients attending our hospital on the same day for urinalysis, dipstick tests and semi-quantitative urine culture. The urinalysis results were compared with those of conventional semi-quantitative urine culture.
Of 384 urinary specimens, 68 were positive for bacteriuria by culture, and were thus considered true positives. Comparison of these results with those obtained from the UriSed analyzer indicated that the analyzer had a specificity of 91.1%, a sensitivity of 47.0%, a positive predictive value (PPV) of 53.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 40.8–65.3), and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 88.8% (95% Cl = 85.0–91.8%). The accuracy was 83.3% when the urine leukocyte parameter was used, 76.8% when bacteriuria analysis of urinary sediment was used, and 85.1% when the bacteriuria and leukocyturia parameters were combined. The presence of nitrite was the best indicator of culture positivity (99.3% specificity) but had a negative likelihood ratio of 0.7, indicating that it was not a reliable clinical test.
Although the specificity of the UriSed analyzer was within acceptable limits, the sensitivity value was low. Thus, UriSed urinalysis results do not accurately predict the outcome of culture.
PMCID: PMC3900068  PMID: 23894867
urinalysis; bacteriuria; sensitivity; specificity; urinary tract infection
17.  A urine analysis method suitable for children's nappies. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1997;50(7):569-572.
BACKGROUND: Urinary tract infection in infancy continues to be underdiagnosed, despite its association with renal scarring and thus hypertension, renal failure, and other sequelae. Low ascertainment of urinary tract infections reflects the many difficulties in establishing a diagnosis, some of which could be eliminated by a simple, reliable method for preliminary investigation of children's urine. AIM: To assess the accuracy of a new, simple method for testing urine for nitrite and leucocyte esterase, which could be applied to children in primary care. METHODS: An in vitro study was carried out to compare the results of conventional urine analysis with urine analysis on urine soaked on to panty-liners, and with the laboratory investigation. Two urine analysis stick types were used (Boehringer Mannheim Nephur sticks and Bayer Multistix 8SG) and two brands of panty-liners. Analysis examined evidence of agreement and bias for different methods in addition to sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive values for urine analysis. RESULTS: Pressing urine analysis test sticks on to panty-liners soaked with urine achieved consistent results compared with the results of conventional dipstick urine analysis. At a prevalence of 21.8%, sensitivity and negative predictive values of urine analysis for laboratory confirmed urinary tract infection were 94% and 98%, respectively, for Boehringer sticks, and 76% and 93%, respectively, for Bayer sticks. At prevalences of 5% and 1% (prevalences that could be expected in primary care) Bayer sticks had negative predictive values of 98.7% and 99.7%, respectively, and Boehringer sticks had values of 99.6% and 99.9%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Testing urine on panty-liners is accurate compared with conventional urine analysis. It may be possible to apply this method to testing unwell children presenting in primary care to identify those who require microbiological urine culture to confirm or eliminate a diagnosis of urinary tract infection.
PMCID: PMC500054  PMID: 9306937
18.  A study of microscopical and chemical tests for the rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infections in general practice. 
Aids to the rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infection were assessed by the examination of 325 consecutive urine samples taken in the normal course of work in a general practice. Of these samples 103 produced a pure growth of at least 10(5) organisms per ml. The appearance and smell of each sample was noted and it was then tested by simple low-power microscopy of a drop of urine and by a dipstick which measured leucocyte esterase and nitrite, together with protein, blood and pH. In addition, pus cell counts per mm3 were performed on 272 of the samples using a cytometer chamber. This method is too time-consuming for routine use in the surgery. Neither a cloudy appearance nor haematuria were sufficiently specific to be of much use in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection. In the prediction of a 'positive' culture the sensitivity and specificity of the other tests were as follows: drop method microscopy 95% and 76%, respectively; cytometer count 95% and 81%; leucocyte-esterase estimation 89% and 68%; and nitrite 57% and 96%. These figures may underestimate the true values of the tests in the diagnosis of urinary tract infection because infection may be present in some cases producing growths of less than 10(5) organisms per ml. It is concluded that the most useful aid to the diagnosis of urinary tract infection is low-power microscopy of a drop of urine.
PMCID: PMC1371381  PMID: 2271260
19.  Disappointing dipstick screening for urinary tract infection in hospital inpatients. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1998;51(6):471-472.
AIM: To compare the performance of leucocyte esterase and nitrite dipstick tests with microscopic examination and culture of first morning urines (n = 420) of hospital inpatients. RESULTS: The sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value of the leucocyte esterase test for the cutoff of > 10 WBC/microliter were 57%, 94%, and 68%, respectively. For > 5 WBC per high power field (HPF) these variables were 84%, 90%, and 93%. For > 10(5) colony counts/ml, the sensitivity of the nitrite test was 27%, specificity 94%, and negative predictive value 87%. When either leucocyte esterase or nitrite positivity was accepted as a marker of urinary tract infection, the sensitivity was 78%, specificity 75%, and negative predictive value 94%, and there were 22% false negative results. Semiquantitative microscopic estimation of bacteria per HPF yielded 40% false positives. CONCLUSIONS: Leucocyte esterase and nitrite dipstick tests are not suitable for screening for urinary tract infections.
PMCID: PMC500752  PMID: 9771448
20.  Rapid tests and urine sampling techniques for the diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) in children under five years: a systematic review 
BMC Pediatrics  2005;5:4.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common sources of infection in children under five. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is important to reduce the risk of renal scarring. Rapid, cost-effective, methods of UTI diagnosis are required as an alternative to culture.
We conducted a systematic review to determine the diagnostic accuracy of rapid tests for detecting UTI in children under five years of age.
The evidence supports the use of dipstick positive for both leukocyte esterase and nitrite (pooled LR+ = 28.2, 95% CI: 17.3, 46.0) or microscopy positive for both pyuria and bacteriuria (pooled LR+ = 37.0, 95% CI: 11.0, 125.9) to rule in UTI. Similarly dipstick negative for both LE and nitrite (Pooled LR- = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.16, 0.26) or microscopy negative for both pyuria and bacteriuria (Pooled LR- = 0.11, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.23) can be used to rule out UTI. A test for glucose showed promise in potty-trained children. However, all studies were over 30 years old. Further evaluation of this test may be useful.
Dipstick negative for both LE and nitrite or microscopic analysis negative for both pyuria and bacteriuria of a clean voided urine, bag, or nappy/pad specimen may reasonably be used to rule out UTI. These patients can then reasonably be excluded from further investigation, without the need for confirmatory culture. Similarly, combinations of positive tests could be used to rule in UTI, and trigger further investigation.
PMCID: PMC1084351  PMID: 15811182
21.  Meta-analysis of Urine Heme Dipstick Diagnosis of Schistosoma haematobium Infection, Including Low-Prevalence and Previously-Treated Populations 
Urogenital schistosomiasis remains highly endemic in Africa. Current control is based on drug administration, targeted either to school-age children or to high-risk communities at-large. Urine dipsticks for detection of microhematuria offer an inexpensive means for estimating infection prevalence. However, their diagnostic performance has not been systematically evaluated after community treatment, or in areas with continuing low prevalence. The objective of the present study was to perform meta-analysis of dipstick accuracy for S. haematobium infection in endemic regions, with special attention to performance where infection intensity or prevalence was low.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This review was registered at inception with PROSPERO (CRD42012002165). Included studies were identified by computerized search of online databases and hand search of bibliographies and existing study archives. Eligible studies included published or unpublished population surveys irrespective of date, location, or language that compared dipstick diagnosis of S. haematobium infection to standard egg-count parasitology. For 95 included surveys, variation in dipstick sensitivity and specificity were evaluated according to study size, age- and sex-specific participation, region, local prevalence, treatment status, and other factors potentially affecting test performance. Independent of prevalence, accuracy was greater in surveys of school-age children (vs. adults), whereas performance was less good in North Africa, as compared to other regions. By hierarchical ROC analysis, overall dipstick sensitivity and specificity for detection of egg-positive urine were estimated at 81% and 89%, respectively. Sensitivity was lower among treated populations (72%) and in population subgroups having lower intensity infection (65%). When the insensitivity of egg count testing was considered (and diagnosis inferred instead from combined hematuria and egg-count findings), overall dipstick sensitivity/specificity were 82%/97%, with significantly better sensitivity (92%) in high prevalence settings.
This analysis suggests that dipsticks will continue to serve as very useful adjuncts for monitoring community prevalence following implementation of population-based control of urogenital schistosomiasis.
Author Summary
Schistosomiasis is a chronic human disease caused by infection with multicellular trematode parasites of Schistosoma species. In particular, Schistosoma haematobium colonizes the veins in the pelvis, in and around the urinary tract, and causes inflammation that leads to ulceration and bleeding into the urine. One low-tech, inexpensive means of quickly identifying blood in the urine (hematuria) is to use a chemical reagent strip (dipstick) to test a patient's urine. While many studies have confirmed the usefulness of dipstick-detected hematuria as a proxy for infection in diagnosing infected people before treatment is given, their diagnostic performance after treatment has been uncertain. The current study systematically reviewed 95 available reports of dipstick performance in S. haematobium-endemic areas of Africa and determined, based on a meta-analysis of the primary data, that dipsticks appear to retain their diagnostic accuracy in low prevalence areas and after one or more rounds of treatment. This suggests that dipsticks will continue to be very useful tools in tracking and targeting regional requirements for treatment and prevention of S. haematobium infection as current school- and community-based programs go forward.
PMCID: PMC3772022  PMID: 24069486
22.  Performance of circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) urine-dipsticks for rapid detection of intestinal schistosomiasis in schoolchildren from shoreline communities of Lake Victoria 
For disease surveillance and mapping within large-scale control programmes, RDTs are becoming popular. For intestinal schistosomiasis, a commercially available urine-dipstick which detects schistosome circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) in host urine is being increasingly applied, however, further validation is needed. In this study, we compared the CCA urine-dipstick test against double thick Kato-Katz faecal smears from 171 schoolchildren examined along the Tanzanian and Kenyan shorelines of Lake Victoria. Diagnostic methods were in broad agreement; the mean prevalence of intestinal schistosomiasis inferred by Kato-Katz examination was 68.6% (95% confidence intervals (CIs) = 60.7-75.7%) and 71.3% (95% CIs = 63.9-78.8%) by CCA urine-dipsticks. There were, however, difficulties in precisely 'calling' the CCA test result, particularly in discrimination of 'trace' reactions as either putative infection positive or putative infection negative, which has important bearing upon estimation of mean infection prevalence; considering 'trace' as infection positive mean prevalence was 94.2% (95% CIs = 89.5-97.2%). A positive association between increasing intensity of the CCA urine-dipstick test band and faecal egg count was observed. Assigning trace reactions as putative infection negative, overall diagnostic sensitivity (SS) of the CCA urine-dipstick was 87.7% (95% CIs = 80.6-93.0%), specificity (SP) was 68.1% (95% CIs = 54.3-80.0%), positive predictive value (PPV) was 86.1% (95% CIs = 78.8-91.7%) and negative predictive value (NPV) was 71.1% (95% CIs = 57.2-82.8%). To assist in objective defining of the CCA urine-dipstick result, we propose the use of a simple colour chart and conclude that the CCA urine-dipstick is a satisfactory alternative, or supplement, to Kato-Katz examination for rapid detection of intestinal schistosomiasis.
PMCID: PMC2828997  PMID: 20181101
23.  Urinary ATP and visualization of intracellular bacteria: a superior diagnostic marker for recurrent UTI in renal transplant recipients? 
SpringerPlus  2014;3:200.
Renal transplant recipients (RTR) are highly susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs) with over 50% of patients having at least one UTI within the first year. Yet it is generally acknowledged that there is considerable insensitivity and inaccuracy in routine urinalysis when screening for UTIs. Thus a large number of transplant patients with genuine urine infections may go undiagnosed and develop chronic recalcitrant infections, which can be associated with graft loss and morbidity. Given a recent study demonstrating ATP is released by urothelial cells in response to bacteria exposure, possibly acting at metabotropic P2Y receptors mediating a proinflammatory response, we have investigated alternative, and possibly more appropriate, urinalysis techniques in a cohort of RTRs.
Mid-stream urine (MSU) samples were collected from 53 outpatient RTRs. Conventional leukocyte esterase and nitrite dipstick tests, and microscopic pyuria counts (in 1 μl), ATP concentration measurements, and identification of intracellular bacteria in shed urothelial cells, were performed on fresh unspun samples and compared to ‘gold-standard’ bacterial culture results.
Of the 53 RTRs, 22% were deemed to have a UTI by ‘gold-standard’ conventional bacteria culture, whereas 87%, 8% and 4% showed evidence of UTIs according to leukocyte esterase dipstick, nitrite dipstick, and a combination of both dipsticks, respectively. Intracellular bacteria were visualized in shed urothelial cells of 44% of RTRs, however only 1 of the 23 RTRs (44%) was deemed to have a UTI by conventional bacteria culture. A significant association of the ‘gold-standard’ test with urinary ATP concentration combined with visualization of intracellular bacteria in shed urothelial cells was determined using the Fisher’s exact test.
It is apparent that standard bedside tests for UTIs give variable results and that seemingly quiescent bacteria in urothelial cells are very common in RTRs and may represent a focus of subclinical infection. Furthermore, our results suggest urinary ATP concentration combined with detection of intracellular bacteria in shed urinary epithelial cells may be a sensitive means by which to detect ‘occult’ infection in RTRs.
PMCID: PMC4022969  PMID: 24839587
Intracellular bacteria; IBC; Pyuria; Urinary ATP; Bladder; Acridine orange stain
24.  Gram-Stain Plus MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry) for a Rapid Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86915.
Microbiological confirmation of a urinary tract infection (UTI) takes 24–48 h. In the meantime, patients are usually given empirical antibiotics, sometimes inappropriately. We assessed the feasibility of sequentially performing a Gram stain and MALDI-TOF MS mass spectrometry (MS) on urine samples to anticipate clinically useful information. In May-June 2012, we randomly selected 1000 urine samples from patients with suspected UTI. All were Gram stained and those yielding bacteria of a single morphotype were processed for MALDI-TOF MS. Our sequential algorithm was correlated with the standard semiquantitative urine culture result as follows: Match, the information provided was anticipative of culture result; Minor error, the information provided was partially anticipative of culture result; Major error, the information provided was incorrect, potentially leading to inappropriate changes in antimicrobial therapy. A positive culture was obtained in 242/1000 samples. The Gram stain revealed a single morphotype in 207 samples, which were subjected to MALDI-TOF MS. The diagnostic performance of the Gram stain was: sensitivity (Se) 81.3%, specificity (Sp) 93.2%, positive predictive value (PPV) 81.3%, negative predictive value (NPV) 93.2%, positive likelihood ratio (+LR) 11.91, negative likelihood ratio (−LR) 0.20 and accuracy 90.0% while that of MALDI-TOF MS was: Se 79.2%, Sp 73.5, +LR 2.99, −LR 0.28 and accuracy 78.3%. The use of both techniques provided information anticipative of the culture result in 82.7% of cases, information with minor errors in 13.4% and information with major errors in 3.9%. Results were available within 1 h. Our serial algorithm provided information that was consistent or showed minor errors for 96.1% of urine samples from patients with suspected UTI. The clinical impacts of this rapid UTI diagnosis strategy need to be assessed through indicators of adequacy of treatment such as a reduced time to appropriate empirical treatment or earlier withdrawal of unnecessary antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC3899310  PMID: 24466289
25.  Routine urinalysis in renal transplant patients. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1995;48(4):383-384.
The performance of two commercially available urine dipstick tests was evaluated to exclude significant bacteriuria in midstream urine samples from patients attending a renal transplant outpatient clinic. The use of dipsticks to reduce the necessity for routine microscopy and culture was also assessed. Consecutive urine samples (n = 497) from 121 patients were examined for leucocytes, nitrite, and blood with Multistix* 10SG (Ames) and Nephur test (Boehring) dipsticks. All urine samples also underwent routine microscopy and culture. The sensitivities of the Nephur test and Multistix were 83% and 82%, respectively; the specificities were 28% and 40%, respectively; the negative predictive values were 85% and 88%, respectively; and the positive predictive values were 24% and 29%, respectively. Underlying conditions and treatments in renal patients may have led to relatively low sensitivity and positive predictive values. Traditional microscopy and culture methods are more reliable for renal transplant recipients.
PMCID: PMC502562  PMID: 7615863

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